There’s a time to flourish: creativity at its best

There’s a time to flourish and a time to be dormant.

A time to play and a time to rest.

A time to socialize and a time for introspection.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant something and a time to pluck it up.

Creativity is no different. Each step of a process comes with a season, in which times are more active, and others are more contemplative. Contrary to all the ideals of productivity, it’s unrealistic to expect outcomes nonstop.

It is a mistake and a misreading of nature to think that you, a living creature, will be flourishing all the days of your life.

austin kleon

Therefore, it’s crucial to know when to do things.

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A garden in your mind to cultivate ideas

Did you know? You have a garden in your mind. It’s possible to plant ideas like seeds and watch them grow as you water them everyday. Fred Rogers, creator, showrunner, and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, puts it more beautifully:

You can grow ideas in your mind. You can think about things and make believe things and that’s like growing something of your own.

fred rogers

It’s basically like gardening, and it’s no trivial pastime. It’s more than the growing of plants. It’s actually the expression of desire.

Have you ever wondered why certain thoughts are more recurring than others? It’s worth examining why they’re around frequently and under what conditions they tend to pop up the most.

Ideas, like plants, can be dormant in certain seasons. They’re waiting to be activated.

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Viewing yourself as an architect to redesign life

It’s empowering to view yourself as an architect.

Some time ago, I came across the quote “you’re the architect of your own destiny.” At the time, it didn’t seem so relevant for me, but since creativity and architecture have some principles in common, I think it all makes sense now.

Architecture is a field that requires knowledge in many areas. While not all of us get a deep grasp of the tasks and responsibilities that architects take everyday, we do know something basic: they build. They design.

They plan carefully so that they complete their projects successfully.

An architect doesn’t design a house without paying attention to details.

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Our daily lives are full of little details that impact our moods and perceptions. It’s crucial to pay attention to then implement important changes.

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Creativity and architecture: common principles

Creativity and architecture go hand in hand. I don’t think one can be without the other. In theory, and in practice, creativity can find order, form, and structure through the same concepts that architecture uses.

For example, architecture is based on people and shapes its design and function according to the needs of communities. Creativity is used to find solutions to challenges and, at the same time, it can improve people’s personal lives or work environments.

Creativity is an expression that can take many forms. On the other hand, since prehistory, architecture has been used as a way for civilizations to express culture.

If we think about it, building a life or a career requires a solid foundation; a structure that can shape our circumstances in the right direction. Emulating a discipline that involves designing and construction can provide some great benefits.

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Fear as a GPS: Where is it leading you?

It had not occurred to me to think of fear as a GPS.

It’s actually a refreshing approach when facing your greatest challenges as a creative. The first time that I came across this idea was on Twitter through Marie Forleo, entrepreneur and philanthropist:

Whoa.

When it comes to fear, it’s easy to enter a cycle of thoughts that will prevent us from taking action. Endless “what ifs” flood our minds and great opportunities fade away.

A life filled with fear is not life.

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Making art from a place of authenticity

I’ve come across a few articles where creators (or “creatives” if you like this term better) wonder if they should be making art related to the effects of the pandemic. Or if they should be doing things where the main theme is living in confinement for months.

I find that question interesting. While our lives will be marked forever by this once in a lifetime event, some of us will want to stay away from that theme while making art. Other creatives, though, will let out their thoughts in their upcoming endeavours.

On the other hand, I believe the pandemic is not a theme. It’s the door that leads to a different place to create.

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Seek to be worth knowing and the rest will follow

Sometimes, an idea or a thought are enough to acquire a new philosophy. A spark is all you need to keep lighting your own way. Recently, I came across the idea “seek to be worth knowing,” proposed by Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC).

I’ve always admired him. His teachings focused on self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. I thought that, when it comes to creativity, the same principles apply.

On self-cultivation, the following idea is marvellous:

Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.

Confucius

In a creative journey, you start from zero. Nobody knows what you do or what messages you’re trying to convey. However, the important part is not producing a masterpiece after a masterpiece to gain fame and become a recognizable face. It’s about sharing who you are through your ideas; through your craft.

You build a reputation from something that matters to you. As you keep sharing your work, it resonates with others. They get interested, and then they decide to connect or ‘buy’ you. It’s that resonance that makes you a person worth knowing.

So don’t worry if you don’t have many followers on social media or enough subscribers on your newsletter. Avoid obsessing over numbers and stressful metrics. Above all, make sure your work is worth exploring.

Discipline will get you there.

What are your thoughts?

Long term over short term games: choose one to play

I’ve been thinking about the meaning of choosing long-term over short-term games in any aspect. You name it, personal goals, business strategies, career paths and so on. There’s an urgency to see results as soon as we start working so that we feel accomplished. However, in the game of life, processes to achieve results are non-linear.

“How can I easily reach my goals this year?” “What are the best hacks to find the quickest path to success?” The truth is, there’s no shortcut. It’s important to understand the game we want to play. Anything that’s worth achieving requires a long-term journey.

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Routines of successful people: to try or not to try

Type the phrase “routines of successful people” on Google, and you will get hundreds of articles that tell you how to organize your life in a way that will make you more productive.

While those articles are appealing, and some of them can be actually inspiring, the truth is that every individual in this world operates in a different mode. What works for “the successful” may not work for those who are trying to develop better habits.

Here’s a few thoughts on focusing on what works for you rather than following steps that you might not be willing to even try.

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Compound Knowledge: the key to gaining wisdom

One concept that has been buzzing lately is “compound knowledge.” I’ve been seeing it often in the Orange Book’s timeline on Twitter. Anything this person shares on that channel interests me, and if there’s an idea that’s completely new to me, I do a bit more research.

Compound means “made up or consisting of two or more existing parts or elements.” Therefore, compound knowledge refers to integrating all the elements we’ve collected from the various sources we learn from and using them to upgrade our skills or achieve wisdom, for example.

However, compounding is a process that takes time. Immediate results are out of the equation. The core essence is patience and consistency. Outcomes will show as one continues to gain knowledge year over year.

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